Since late August 2012, the Huayca central, located about 85 km from Iquique, began to provide mining and other heavy industries in the region a maximum power of 1.4 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity.
Thanks to sunshine, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile is ideal for producing solar energy. The power of the Huayca central may be increased up to 25 MW during planned expansions in the coming years.
Photovoltaic power plant is owned and operated by a joint venture Saferay GmbH, the German specialist for solar and SELTEC Ingeniería, a company of engineering and construction in Chile.
The U.S. has provided GE Energy Management 2 PV inverters. Outdoor advanced optimized to meet the specific demands of Saferay and withstand the environmental conditions prevailing in the region. GE provided also other electrical equipment, including switching devices and switching as well as medium voltage transformers.
“The Chilean government hopes that by 2020, the industry derives at least 20% of the energy sources of renewable energy. Otherwise, financial sanctions will be applied,” said Juan Fernández, head of project management in Saferay. “This plant will operate reliably and efficiently in the long term. This is why we have used with GE technology, experience, resources and global presence will help ensure the success of this plant. For our part We hope that this success will stimulate the solar PV industry in the entire region.”
This pioneering project initiated a trend towards industrial development of solar power throughout Latin America.